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Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Mar 18, 2015 - 12:44pm PT
And, ironically, YOUR side will be unarmed. LOL

When the military coup does come and overthrow our republic, and it will happen, "you and your ilk" will be on the side of the military fighting against liberty. Now how's that for irony? lol
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Mar 18, 2015 - 12:48pm PT
Do you think that it can "evolve" to become just anything at all, as long as "the majority" wants things a certain way?

The constitution prevents tyranny of the majority. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Yet, it was designed to change with the times.

Do you believe in inalienable rights?

Good question! Are there absolute rights, is that what you're saying? There are absolutes, truth is an absolute.

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 18, 2015 - 12:55pm PT
When the military coup does come and overthrow our republic, and it will happen, "you and your ilk" will be on the side of the military fighting against liberty.

I will never be found fighting against liberty! Anybody seeing a trend in what I've posted on many threads will immediately recognize me as a "classical liberal," or, what it is now better called, a "philosophical libertarian." I am a big believer in individual liberties and that the government has NO business in the private lives of citizens. I'm all for vast individual liberties.

It's people like you that seem to think that government's best role is to act as a cudgel to "keep people in line" according to whatever "standards" you favor. The whole nanny-state perspective is built on the idea that individual liberty is threatening, that people in general are not to be trusted, that the average citizen is not fundamentally responsible, and so "the masses" must both be kept in line and "protected" (largely from themselves). This is the exact opposite perspective from that which founded this nation and made it great.

Nope, I will not be fighting against liberty, unless your idea of "liberty" is the CAPACITY to trammel on individual, inalienable rights.

Oh, and I'm still waiting for how far you think it's legitimate to "evolve" the constitution. Would it be legitimate, say, for a super-majority to amend the constitution to disband the supreme court? After all, the pesky SCOTUS has such a way of dampening the "progress" of "progressives!" Away with it!
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 18, 2015 - 12:56pm PT
The constitution prevents tyranny of the majority.

HOW does it do that?

A super-majority CAN utterly change it willy-nilly! I'm asking how far you think such changes could possibly be legitimate.

I'm asking what you think the fundamental basis of legitimate government even IS.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 18, 2015 - 01:35pm PT
Are there absolute rights, is that what you're saying?

"Inalienable" is different from "absolute," and a completely different account must be given of the two notions.

"Inalienable" means "cannot be separated from." The right to life, for example, is an inalienable right insofar as it cannot be separated from the person. A person, just in virtue of being a person, comes with that right so "attached" that it cannot be stripped away.

However, is that right, then, absolute? That depends on what you mean by "absolute." Rather than debate possible definitions, I'll instead simply contrast the inalienable right to life with the death penalty and self-defense.

One school of thought indeed treats the inalienable right as absolute, stating that even government cannot "infringe" that right legitimately, even in the interests of justice.

Let's see if, even viewed in an absolute sense, that right can legitimately be "infringed."

First, the rights upon which this nation was founded are considered "negative" rights, which means that I don't have to DO anything to satisfy your negative rights. They are "negative" insofar as nobody "owes" you anything positive in order to ensure your full "exercise" of them.

If the right to life were construed by our founders as a "positive" right, then it would mean that the whole society would have to be invested moment-by-moment in your survival, actively doing whatever was necessary to keep you alive. Our founders (as did the philosophers who thought about rights prior to this nation) recognized the impossibility of founding a nation on positive rights.

So, you have a negative right to life, which means nothing more than that everybody else must not seek to kill you. Because it is an inalienable right, any attempt to violate it is illegitimate. Conversely, it falls to each individual to satisfy their needs and desires to both preserve and enhance their life. In essence, others must leave your inalienable rights unviolated, and you must not violate other's inalienable rights in your own "pursuit" of life, liberty, and happiness.

When another person actively attempts to violate your inalienable right to life, you do not lose it just because that other person is trying to take it. The right itself remains intact and firmly associated with your person. It can be violated, but it cannot be removed from you. But the very notion of a "violation" of a right presumes the inalienable nature of the right. Otherwise, the right could first be "alienated," then you would no longer have the right, and then whatever was desired could be done to you without "violation."

Rights such as life, then, are negative and so firmly associated with your person that any positive attempt to deprive you of your life is prima facie illegitimate. If the attempt is successful, it will be called a "violation" of your right, not that your right was "removed" from you.

So, how can, say, self-defense with deadly force ever be legitimate? After all, if you are trying to violate my inalienable right, what gives me any right, then, to try to violate your inalienable right in response?

The answer is surprisingly simple. If you are attacking me with apparent intent to kill, you have expressed your intent to violate my negative right. ALL you have to do to not violate my right is to STOP. If you do NOTHING at all, you cannot violate my right. My goal and intent in self-defense is not to kill you; it is to STOP you.

Contrary to the wannabe Rambos out there, self defense is NEVER about killing the aggressor! It is about STOPPING the aggression as quickly and effectively as possible. An analogy could go like this.

I surround myself with large lumber saws, but they are in the "off" position. However, as soon as aggressor starts his attack, I turn the saws into the "on" position and warn aggressor, "Stay back! These saws will hurt you and even kill you if your proceed. YOU are taking your OWN life into your hands by proceeding."

Aggressor proceeds and runs into a saw. Wounded, he is even more angry and determined, so he backs up a bit and then tries to run through the saws to get to me. I could turn the saws "off" to "save his life," but I have NO positive duty to save, enhance, guarantee, or in any other way "support" his life. HIS right to life, like mine, is negative. ALL he has to do to save his OWN life relative to his attack on me is STOP. It is only by HIS OWN determination to come within the scope of my self-defense mechanisms that he endangers HIS OWN life. So, if aggressor dies in the effort to kill me, he has killed himself by his own intentional meeting with my defenses.

This is literally what our society's self-defense laws contemplate, and it is why you legally must stop shooting the second aggressor STOPS his aggression. The SECOND you (thought of as "a reasonable person") no longer perceive active aggression against you, you MUST turn "off" your buzz saws.

Our founders simply recognized that, as various self-defense mechanisms go, guns are a much better approach to giving yourself a "wall of buzz saws" than actually carrying around a wall of buzz saws. And you MUST turn off the "wall of buzz saws" whenever your right to life is not actively under threat.

So, the right to life is (to the minds of most philosophers) not "absolute" in that you have the right to your OWN demise (and there are countless ways to achieve that, including aggression against another's "wall of buzz saws"). Indeed, "your life is in your own hands," as the saying goes. But the right is inalienable insofar as it cannot be separated from you.

Finally, if the right to life is inalienable, so is the right to defend it against aggression. And that implies the right to such "buzz saws" as may reasonably be determined to provide protection against the threats individuals might face.

This is why the slippery slope to nukes is illegitimate! I am not entitled to "bear nukes" as an individual, because nukes never threaten individuals qua individuals! People band together (as into nations) and collectively have nukes to provide that sort of "wall of buzz saws" qua nation against other nations that might act as aggressors using nukes. As an individual, I have the right to protect myself against the sorts of threats I might face as an individual. As a part of a nation, I am part of a collective that protects itself against threats it might face as a nation. Guns serve the former role adequately at present; nukes are "out of scope."

So, the right to life is inalienable but not strictly absolute. It must not be infringed, and you can avoid infringing my right to life by doing nothing. It requires nothing of you to not kill me. Just leave me alone, and you have entirely satisfied my negative right to life. You don't owe me anything, and you are not actively responsible to ensure that I keep living. The "classical liberal" position on rights is: Leave me alone, and you have "done unto me" all that my rights require!
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Mar 19, 2015 - 07:05am PT
You have a point... as long as those saws aren't painted black and have plastic pistol grips. If they were, you could be imprisoned in KT...

Again the biggest social threat to people's well being IMO is government overeach itself. It's a cyclical thing that probably will never change.

The "founding documents" of our nation were pretty clear on the danger of large centralized government. Their ideas were good ones but it happened anyway. We had a good run.

I view our own empire here as being the final stages of an invasive cancer. Massive bloated military that encircles those globe killing at will, even bigger useless administrative tumors that would make even Rome blush. All funded currently with a printing press that had run amok.

But what to do? When the cancer finally turns on itself, as it generally does, how will we, as a formerly free people, react?




madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 19, 2015 - 11:32am PT
All great points, Fear, and very well articulated, imo!

how will we, as a formerly free people, react?

That IS the $64,000 question, isn't it. Or, given the printing press run amok (loved it), it's more like the $64,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 question.

Some famous economist once said, "Government is the only entity that can take two valuable commodities, such as paper and ink, and by their mere combination render the product worthless."
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 19, 2015 - 02:02pm PT
Better late than never...

Gary, do you know why that was done? What the result was and how poorly things might have gone if it hadn't?

Yes, Kris, the slave owners wanted to have their cake and it it, too. They wanted their slaves to count towards population for representation, but didn't actually want to let them vote.

Just an example of the US Constitution changing as the nation becomes more enlightened. The constitution is not a holy document, as some seem to believe. It has continued to change for the better, IMO.

It was 3/5ths. The point of contention between the North and the slave States was over how to count their populations in the first census. At stake were tax burdens (the States were taxed according to their population) and their number of House Representatives. The 3/5ths compromise favored the southern States. They got a majority in the house and paid less in taxes than they would have. Failing to reach this compromise could have split the states well before the Civil War at a time when the north was in no position to win.

You are correct about the Constitution changing for the better. But this has been done through the amendment process, for example the 13th. Changing the Constitution by simply ignoring it as all three branches of our government are doing with increasing impunity does not improve it.

Back to your regularly scheduled shoot-out...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 19, 2015 - 02:11pm PT
The sandbox should be replaced with an ultimate fighter's cage.
couchmaster

climber
Mar 19, 2015 - 02:46pm PT

JD said -
"The sandbox should be replaced with an ultimate fighter's cage."

LOL I think I know how it will turn out if the gun guys show up armed and the non-gun guys are unarmed....
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Mar 19, 2015 - 03:49pm PT
Hey I said I bring my sling shot . . .
WBraun

climber
Mar 19, 2015 - 07:21pm PT
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
Mar 19, 2015 - 09:33pm PT
Donini,

That's much too exclusive. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with being physically fit and thrown into a cage with your opponent.

I say it should speak to the people it addresses. Like Friday night Happy Hour at the local tavern.

Everybody gets a solid 60 minutes to shoot the f*#k out of each other, hassle free and then it's back to behaving yourself until the next weekend.

Think of all the tax saved on caring for future pensioners.
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Mar 20, 2015 - 11:31pm PT
this is funny, although i'm certain it will get some folks panties in a bunch. the website is real too
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Mar 20, 2015 - 11:32pm PT
Do you believe in inalienable rights?
Yes. For instance, the inalienable right to health care.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Mar 21, 2015 - 12:03am PT
What about food?

Isn't it your inalienable right to eat at someone else's expense too?
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Mar 21, 2015 - 12:14am PT

What about food?

Isn't it your inalienable right to eat at someone else's expense too?

Sharing is wrong. Especially food.

Moosegreed
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Mar 21, 2015 - 12:52am PT
who needs to eat at someone else's expense when they can just shoot their meals?
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Mar 21, 2015 - 01:06am PT
It's going to need salt and pepper. And red wine.
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Mar 21, 2015 - 07:25am PT
i've always thought a bird shot loaded with salt, pepper and a little gran marnier would be genius.
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